Streaking and looking ahead...Celtics upcoming clash with Bulls will be test

Nothing like a win-streak to reassure us, eh? Danny Ainge's season-reset button, also known as the return of "The One-Man Press," has worked out about as nicely as we could have hoped. The team is rejuvenated. Their confidence is soaring. The pieces are fitting. etc.

  • Celtics record without The One-Man Press: 14 wins, 17 losses.
  • Celtics record with The One-Man Press: 6 wins, 1 loss.
  • Celtics record over the final 44 games of the regular season (Darko Index predicts): 32-12.
  • Final Atlantic Division Standings (Darko Index predicts on 1/15):

Boston 52-30

New York 51-31

Brooklyn 48-34

Philadelphia 45-37

Toronto 31-51

Celtics current win streak: 6 games.

Upcoming opponents, degree of difficulty (1-5):

  • Wednesday, 1/15, home vs. New Orleans. Degree of difficulty (3).

After starting the season 7-25, due in large part to the absence of their second-best player, Eric Gordon, the Hornets won 4 straight (including home wins against San Antonio and Houston), before losing a matinee to the Knicks at MSG. The Celtics should be thankful the rejuvenated Hornets face the 76ers in Philly on Tuesday night.

  • Friday, 1/17, home vs. Chicago (5).

The Bulls, with or without Derrick Rose, cause Boston serious match-up problems. Joakim Noah put-up a triple-double during the Celtics ugly loss in Chicago a month ago. The Bulls held Atlanta to an embarrassing 58 points (20 at the half) on Monday night. Larry Drew needs to call in a group therapist. His Hawks must have had flashbacks to the 33-9 3rd quarter the Celtics dropped on them recently. Chicago’s Luol Deng has the length and physicality to make life miserable for Paul Pierce. Sullinger’s rebounding, combined with the outside shooting of Bradley, Green, Lee and Terry will make the difference in this nationally-televised affair (ESPN, 7pm EST). The bench as a whole will have to provide quality minutes for the Celtics to survive Chicago and up the streak to 8 games.

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